Thursday, October 4, 2007
Homecoming Spirit Doused
By Harold Smith
Mountain View Telegraph
Defeat, as experienced by the Estancia High football team Friday night, can definitely put a damper on the homecoming festivities.
Santa Rosa (5-0)— using camouflaged handoffs, low-trajectory hikes and its patented single-wing offense— beat the Bears (1-4) by a score of 40-0 at Bob Bell Field.
"We played hard," said Marcus Garcia, a 5-foot-7, 170-pound, off-the-bench senior lineman who was presented as the EHS homecoming king in a pregame ceremony. "We've just got to keep going. We have another one Friday (at Class 1A's No. 5 Clayton, 4-2) at 7 p.m. There's one every Friday at 7 p.m. We have to keep going."
The Lions scored on their first three offensive possessions and had a 27-0 lead at halftime. Jesus Roybal had three touchdowns for Santa Rosa.
Halftime fireworks failed to temper the blow.
"It's not the same as last year (when the Bears also struggled during the regular season but rebounded in the state playoffs)," said senior fullback and linebacker Steven Trujillo. "We need to show up every time."
Santa Rosa, ranked No. 2 in the Albuquerque Journal preseason poll, had beaten Estancia 62-0 in the 2A state semifinals in 2006. So Estancia knew beforehand the Lions would be a formidable foe.
Most teams try to avoid scheduling a tough team for homecoming. However, the Bears had little choice with all nine of their regular-season opponents ranked.
The closest Estancia got to the end zone was the Lions' 27 during a six-play, 9-yard drive that began in the first quarter and lapped over into the second. The Bears turned the ball over on downs at the Santa Rosa 34.
"We need to play together, not as individuals," said Estancia senior guard Robert Chavez.
The failure to capitalize followed a fumble recovery by Estancia sophomore Vincent Alvarado on the Lion 43.
After a 2-yard loss on a running play, EHS junior quarterback John Torres hit senior Alan Gonzalez with an 18-yard pass for a first down that brought the ball to the Santa Rosa 27. But the Bears lost yardage on four subsequent tries, and the drive died.
Sophomore running back Eddie Guardiola got Estancia's two other first downs with a 23-yard run in the second quarter and a 10-yard burst in the third. In addition, Bears junior Javier Castro intercepted a Roybal pass in the second quarter and advanced the ball to the Estancia 43.
"We can do it as a team," Torres said. "We can't do it by ourselves. We need to keep our heads high in the huddles."
Heather Granger, a senior cross country runner, was honored as the homecoming queen before the game.
The top-ranked Mustangs (5-0) handed No. 2 Gateway Christian (3-1) its first loss since the 2005 season with a 22-0 victory over the Warriors, the reigning state eight-man football champions, in Roswell on Friday.
Gateway was 12-0 last year. In 2005, when the Warriors won the six-man crown, they were 10-1.
"I credit a lot of it to the work of our offensive line," Mountainair coach Robert Zamora said. "They gave Mathew (Chavez) a lot of time to throw the ball. The line doesn't always get a lot of credit. They really deserve it this time for how they played."
'Stangs senior Victor Romero scored twice, on 55- and 82-yard runs.
"And Mathew (a senior quarterback) broke out on a 62-yard run," Zamora said.
Mountainair will meet fourth-ranked Valley Christian (5-0) in Roswell on Oct. 12.
"They (the Lions) are tough, and they are big and strong," Zamora said. "And they're undefeated. It's going to be a good game. But we have a bye this week so we have some time to prepare."
The Mustangs aren't hurting too much either.
"We're pretty healthy right now," Zamora said. "We've got some minor bruises and (sore) ankles, but we're pretty healthy (overall), thank God."
Mountain View TelegraphP.O. Box 2225, Moriarty, N.M. 87035-2225